One of the unsung heroes that emerged from Australia’s experience of the coronavirus pandemic are the courageous property managers who had to adapt quickly to continue handling tenant-landlord issues.
The pandemic brought changes – virtually all of them negative, and property managers have to make sure these changes are conveyed to their clients and impact them as little as possible. Property managers worked harder than ever – fully mobile and paperless – to help tenants keep their homes and landlords keep their income steady amidst these unprecedented times.
NATIONAL PROPERTY MANAGERS DAY 2020
For going above and beyond, property managers deserve thanks and to be celebrated.
(REINSW) designated 24 July 2020 as National Property Managers Day to show support and recognition to the heroic efforts of residential and commercial property managers across Australia in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
As part of the celebration, REINSW enjoined other Real Estate Institutes across the country to nominate and share stories of their star property managers on their social media using the hashtag #nationalpropertymanagersday. They were also asked to host a little celebration for their nominated star property managers on 4 July.
The important role of property managers during the pandemic
A property manager’s job has never been more important than during this pandemic. They are not invulnerable to the virus, but continued on with their important role as the main conduit between landlords and tenants.
They handle the difficult conversations, provide support for both landlords and tenants at different times, and on top of that, they have to be familiar with legislation, maintenance, finances and social work.
This is an especially emotional time for Australians, with the lockdowns, business closures and job losses brought about the coronavirus threatening the sanctuary they call home.
In March 2020 alone, Lifeline Australia saw a 25% increase in calls for help compared with 2019, with most of the calls relating to Covid-19. Tenants worry about being able to continue paying their rent and bills, and landlords their mortgage repayments.
Property managers have done a great job of dealing with tenants and landlords who are distressed about the current health crisis and not handling the uncertainty very well.
At the start of the pandemic, property managers got calls from clients about changes to legislation that they didn’t yet know what the answer to, or were too nervous to answer in case they gave a wrong one.
Through all these challenges, property managers learned to be resilient in order to deal with so many things.
They also have to learn to be expert negotiators as they saw themselves managing more properties than they usually do.
With an increase in listings and without the commensurate increase in demand, property managers have found themselves using their negotiating skills to convince tenants to remain in a property and that is by convincing landlords to agree to a rent adjustment.
THE ARRIVE EXPERIENCE
Like other property managers across Australia, the Arrive team shares the same experience.
Covid-19 or not, we continued our responsibilities towards our clients.
When the pandemic was at its peak, many of our tenants lost their jobs and notified us they couldn’t continue to pay rent. In response, we provided information about government support channels and helped with grant applications.
Luckily, we have generous landlords who offered free rent periods and free water usage.
And to further help our tenants, Arrive set up a Covid-19 fund to provide free meals, Coles vouchers and cooked meals.
After making sure we have all the health safeguards in check, we continued to lease properties. Currently, we are conducting open home inspections for shorter periods by appointment.
Discover what your home is worth in today's market
Our successful handling of this health crisis is a result of group effort – the cooperation and bravery of our residents; the generosity of our landlords, some of whom were also impacted by Covid-19; and the Arrive Property Management team who worked (and continue to work) tirelessly, empathically and patiently so that our Arrive community can overcome this adversity.
We are realistic enough to understand the health crisis is continuing and likely to remain so the rest of the year or longer. However, our property managers like the good soldiers they are, will adapt to the new norm in order to continue to serve.
The Arrive team are working hard and pleased to achieve great results for our clients – pandemic or no pandemic!
Call ARRIVE if you are looking for an experienced property manager with a professional and personal approach.
The Future of Australia’s Housing Market Post-Covid-19
In April, the forecast was a 10-20% drop in house prices due to Covid-19. But in reality, the housing market is stronger post-Covid-19 compared to what it was in June 2019. In fact, in the latest Real Estate Institute data shows that median prices increased 9.2% for the month of June, and several regions of the country enjoyed a double digit year-on-year growth.
One of our star sales and marketing consultants at Arrive, Trent Ray, a real estate veteran of many years, recently sold 20 Jackson St. in the Brisbane suburb of Coorparoo. The property was snapped on first inspection for close to the asking price. Not only that, the home received three offers, including two written ones. And many real estate forecasts were gloomy amidst the specter of coronavirus!
Our experience is not an isolated one. Homes on the market are being sold left and right.
How did this happen and why?
Several factors support the market, including low interest rates and wage subsidies, which have helped Aussies pay rent and mortgages. And there are also the mortgage holidays.
These factors helped prevent the rush of home sales, which might have caused a flood of homes for sale in the market. What’s more, the lack of housing is continuing, which is a stark contrast to the overflowing housing supply in the market during the global financial crisis in 2007-2008.
Due to a dearth in listings coming to the market, there is more pressure and more competition on the most sought-after properties, which has strengthened prices.
Most of the people flocking to the market are first home buyers, who have cashed in on another support initiative, the pause in the 80% loan-to-ratio value restrictions on mortgage lending for the next year or so.
The initiative was intended for a different reason, but many people who can’t save a 20% deposit on their home are taking advantage of the opportunity to secure a mortgage without it.
What of the future of home prices?
September holds the answers as some of the support measures will end and there will be an election, which tends to cause uncertainty.
Observers are not saying what will happen in the medium and long-term, but at the moment the property market is going against what was originally forecasted.
They are keenly zeroing in on unemployment, which is expected to increase to about 10%, and that would cause house prices to drop.
However, a drop in prices isn’t necessarily all bad as it could mean housing affordability for those who are struggling to get into the housing market.
A house price reset is needed, and what Covid-19 is doing is hastening the pace at which it might occur.